HCM is the glue that holds manufacturing together

February 16, 2023 | 3 minute read
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By: Ondrej Holub, Pierre POLYCARPE

The manufacturing industry is experiencing a monumental shift. In the past few years, challenges have evolved at a rapid pace, characterised by supply chain disruption, the pandemic and global conflicts. Organisations had to focus on resilience – not only in their end-to-end supply chain and to combat rising costs, but also in their people.

The business case for increasing operational efficiency has never been so urgent. However, leaps in technology and innovation require new skills in the workforce. As we move towards next generation manufacturing and the fourth industrial revolution, upskilling and reskilling are vital. The core principles of connection, communication, and automation will enable organisations to capitalise on the intersection of data, connectivity, and intelligence.

This next generation manufacturing reinvents products and services from design and engineering through to manufacturing and support. The resulting enterprise-wide growth is powered by boundless data, enhanced operational technology, and upskilled staff.

The tech behind next gen manufacturing

There are three layers in the rollout of next generation manufacturing technology. First, the ability to harness factory data to create digital twins. Second, using artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics to extract the most value from data, whilst building required skills in the workforce. And finally, investing in robotics with light-touch human interaction to boost productivity.

This rollout is underpinned by a move to the cloud and the effective use of IoT sensors. This data enables staff to identify efficiency gains, proactive machine servicing, and operational bottlenecks.

Skilling and reskilling a data-led workforce

As well as the procurement of more tech-centric suppliers in telematics, software, and analytics, organisations must look to recruit digital specialists. Moving from a focus on production to data engineers will be vital, yet difficult as they are in short supply.

Reskilling existing employees to cover this shortage fills the skills gap and boosts retention. In design and manufacturing, organisations will need staff skilled in the development of algorithms behind ML and AI embedded products. As for sales and marketing, many manufacturing businesses are moving towards consultative selling – a sales strategy that requires upskilling in technology and solutions consultancy.

Future-proof manufacturing

By rethinking their approach to people and training, manufacturers of the future will thrive. Take Arcelor Mittal as an example, a leader in steel manufacturing. During the pandemic they leveraged in-house learning capabilities in their human capital management (HCM) platform, reskilling 18,000 employees in online sessions. Their human resources (HR) platform even identifies areas for continuous improvement to train workers in areas like diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) and sustainability.

Another role model is Mapei, a world leader in adhesives and construction chemicals. Due to a spate of acquisitions, their 11,000 global workers were split across disparate HR platforms. The company chose to centralise their HR technology in the cloud, enabling them to identify who to reskill internally, and enhancing their capabilities to recruit externally.

Dive into more detail as Mark Brinkler, Oracle’s Director of HR Transformation EMEA, talks with Accenture’s UK&I Industry X Lead Maddie Walker and Oracle HCM Europe Practice Lead Yazad Dalal. Catch the full webinar or bitesize highlights to learn more.

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